Hello everyone! It’s been awhile since I last wrote.
Don’t worry, I have not gone missing!
I have been entertaining my lovely parents who have traveled all the way from Australia to see Italy, France and England. They visited me for 3 whole weeks so I feel blessed to be able to show them my side of the world! I will tell you all about my trip, but before then, I thought that I would share a few stories about Granada, Spain.
I visited three beautiful areas of Granada;
- Albayzin known for its Spanish-Muslim architecture
- Sacromonte known for cave houses and flamenco dancing, and
- Alhambra which is the beautiful palace and fortress most visited by tourists.
To visit Albayzin and Sacromonte, we joined a walking tour which we booked at the Tourist Information desk when we arrived in Granada. I highly recommend taking a walking tour because these neighbourhoods are easy to reach but can be difficult to navigate!
Albayzin was an amazing neighborhood to explore because of its Spanish-Muslim architecture. We wandered through the hilly neighborhood in 40 degree heat so I was busily sipping water as I viewed houses with gorgeous blue tiles that reminded me of Turkey. The neighbourhood is also wonderfully set out like a labyrinth. It was built like a labyrinth as a way of protection by giving intruders a false sense of direction.
We stayed close to my tour guide who guided us through the narrow streets and lead us to a place that allowed us to view the Alhambra Palace and fortress in all it’s glory.
While we admired the view, the crowd was serenaded by two well dressed men who were singing and playing a Spanish guitar in perfect harmony. We were then delighted with the company of a lovely older lady who was passionately dancing the flamenco with a beautiful smile on her face. I’ll never forget that smile. She had the smile of someone so happy to be alive and so free. We found out later that she was someone in the crowd and had brought her grandchildren there to enjoy the views. I thought that she was part of the performance, she was that good!
The Sacromonte neighborhood is located close to Albayzin but on much higher ground. The tour guide told us stories about the Gitano people who first inhabited the Sacromonte neighborhood in the nineteeth century. The land was not being used so the Gitano people (otherwise referred to as gypsies) created houses out of caves.
The houses looked so simple on the outside but some were so extensive that they contained 14 or more bedrooms deep into the hillside. This meant that the houses did not have windows and had to be lit by candle light.
The Sacromonte area is also famous for flamenco song and dance, but not the sad kind, the kind that makes you feel happy and joyful! We only visited Sacromonte during the daytime, but would have loved to see it come alive with flamenco flavour at night!
Alhambra was our main reason for visiting Granada. Alhambra is a UNESCO Heritage Listed Site. This palace and fortress has an unusual combination of Islamic-Arab, Jewish and Christian influence. We spent hours exploring the lush gardens and arabic inspired interior of the main palace. We enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere near the fountains and the amazing views from the top of the fortress. There is so much about Alhambra that can only be explained by pictures so have a browse and let me know what you think in the comments below!
Make sure that you book Alhambra at least 1 month in advance so that you do not have to wait in the long queue when you arrive! We just walked straight past that long queue and saved so much time!
How to get to Granada from Malaga:
- Length of travel from Malaga to Granada: 2 hours
- Where to take the bus from Malaga to Granada: Malaga Bus Station is located in the middle of the city. There are buses to Granada from Malaga every hour.
- We purchased our tickets in advanced on this site to save time and money. It also saves you the worry of not getting a seat on the bus. The buses are comfortable and air conditioned so we slept throughout the journey.
Want some more advice?
If I was to give myself advice at the time of booking, I would have booked accommodation in Granada instead of Malaga as my favourite part of the trip was exploring Granada! For more details about my trip to Malaga, check out my previous post here then let me know: Do you like Malaga or Granada?